Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures Thursday as he attends a celebration of a Year of Teachers and Mentors in the country in 2023 at the Mashuk Knowledge Center in Pyatigorsk, via videoconference in Moscow, Russia. Credit: Mikhail Metzel / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

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This letter is in response to the column by Mike Brand in the Feb. 28 Bangor Daily News, where he essentially said that the United States should significantly reduce money spent on the military for our defense and world stability and peace. Instead, he implies that we should let Russia and China do whatever they please to expand their borders and power.

Does Brand know what this means? First it means that Vladimir Putin’s armies will be able to overrun Ukraine without any significant U.S. response. Next Putin can invade and take over the many other countries and people he has claimed were and should now be a part of his new Russian empire. The countries and people that Putin apparently wants to be the ruler of include Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Latonia, Georgia, and only God knows how many other countries and hundreds of million other people in Europe and Central Asia.

If we let Putin move forward in Europe, because of Brand’s apparent desire to save himself of some taxes, then what does he want us to allow Xi Jinping’s China to do? Not fearing any military response from the U.S., Xi will be able to attack and take over Taiwan. After killing a million or more people, Brand will likely see most of the rest of the population of Taiwan treated like the Uyghurs, and put in horrible concentration camps, where they will be essentially slaves.

After what happens to Taiwan without U.S. opposition, then Xi can attempt to make the same thing happen to the people of South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

How many hundreds of millions of people do those like Brand apparently wish to be killed or enslaved just to save themselves some taxes?

Richard C. Engels

Presque Isle